By Morris Phillips
Supposedly there have been a bunch of lopsided results between the Giants and Braves over the last ten seasons, just not one on Monday night.
The opener of the four-game series at Truist Park was a pitcher’s duel with the Braves sneaking past the Giants with Orlando Arcia’s game-winning RBI single in the ninth. Max Fried and Logan Webb were brilliant, allowing just one run each, but neither was around when Arcia’s hard-hit, ground ball to the left side of the infield saw daylight.
The Giants had a pair of opportunities late to knock in a go-ahead run with a runner at third and just one out, but failed both times. Wilmer Flores struck out with the bases loaded in the eighth, and Thairo Estrada struck out facing Kenley Jansen in the ninth with runners at second and third.
With less than 70 games played this season, the Giants and Braves have already eyeballed each other with both trying to at least take advantage of the new postseason format and finish with the best record among non-division winners and gain homefield advantage in the opening round. Currently, both teams are looking up at the first place teams in their division, the Mets in the NL East and the Dodgers in the West.
Camilo Doval walked Matt Olson to leadoff the ninth on four pitches. The only free pass issued by the Giants all evening would be their undoing Marcell Ozuna singled to move Olson up, ahead of Arcia’s base hit with two outs.
Fried went seven innings, striking out eight and walking two. He was saddled with a no-decision when the Giants pushed a run across in the eighth. Fried has yet to lose to the Giants after five starts and one relief appearance.
Webb also pitched seven innings and allowed a run, while striking out seven and walking none. Travis D’Arnaud’s second inning homer was the only blemish for Webb, who has allowed six home runs this season–all on the road.
Joc Pederson received his World Series ring before the game, he was a late season acquisition by the Braves last year that contributed to their run to the title despite getting limited at-bats in the World Series. Pederson, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford were all absent from the Giants’ starting lineup, but all three got pinch-hitting assignments.
The Giants will activate Anthony DeSclafani for a start in Tuesday’s game, his first action since being injured in April. Spencer Strider will get the start for the Braves, who have won 16 of 18.